Kamala Harris Releases Healthcare Plan Calling for Privatization of Medicare

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris D-Calif. speaks during a candidates forum at the 110th NAACP National Convention Wednesday

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris D-Calif. speaks during a candidates forum at the 110th NAACP National Convention Wednesday

Kamala Harris has released a health care plan just in time for the second Democratic debate, offering a role for private insurance in a "Medicare for All" system and outlining new taxes to pay for it.

For example, more than 7 in 10 respondents said it is "very important" to prevent insurers from denying coverage to those with preexisting conditions, while 64% said it is "very important" to prevent them from charging sick people higher premiums than they charge healthy people.

Allow people to purchase supplemental insurance to cover options like cosmetic surgery.

Mr. Sanders' campaign manager, Faiz Shakir, criticized Ms. Harris' plan for using the name "Medicare for All" but keeping a role for private insurance companies.

The California senator said she decided the proposals being offered were unsatisfactory after listening to voters on the campaign trail.

The Harris plan calls for a slower transition than the one socialist Sen.

Allow businesses to continue offering private health insurance to their employees.

"Seniors will be able to keep their Medicare and have dental, vision, and hearing aids covered immediately".

Like Obama's "like your plan" pledge, which PolitiFact dubbed the "Lie of the Year" for 2013, Harris' plan rests on optimistic scenarios that have little possibility of coming to fruition.

Harris's plan is based on Sen. Bernie Sanders are averse toparticipation from corporate health insurers, while moderates like former Vice President Joe Biden have warned that Medicare for all would be too disruptive, particularly for the many Americans who get healthcare through their employers.

Finally, while creating the structure of Medicare, private insurers will be encouraged to develop Medicare plans that follow strict cost and benefit requirements. "If not, they have to get out", Harris wrote in a post on the online publishing platform Medium. Under Harris' plan, consumers would be able to buy into Medicare at the outset of the transition and newborns and the uninsured would automatically be enrolled in the public program.

Harris, in unveiling her version of Medicare for all, said she wants to address what she called a "crisis point" in the nation's healthcare system.

Harris's plan also takes on Sanders directly, disagreeing with his proposal to tax middle-class earners to pay for the new entitlement.

Harris' rollout is a 3-part plan covering all medical essentials exempting households below $100,000, a higher income threshold for middle-class families living in high-cost areas, and expanding high-quality coverage to rural areas. She believes this would bring in more than $2 trillion over 10 years. And health care providers are similarly going to wonder how much they will be paid through the plan - one of the biggest questions surrounding Sanders' Medicare for All plan.

"I think these are good options, especially making the top 1% and corporations pay their fair share through a more progressive income, payroll, and estate tax", Harris wrote. She has previously appeared to suggest that she supported abolishing private insurance, later clarifying that she does not. After that, employers could participate in the government-run Medicare plan or offer their workers a private plan certified by Medicare.

Similarly, in the last Democratic debate, she raised her hand to a question about whether she would support the elimination of private insurance, but then later said she thought the question referred to her own personal insurance. Instead, she drew criticism from rivals across the political spectrum. And she has ruled out tax increases on middle-income Americans, an idea to which Sanders has expressed openness in exchange for lowering the price of health coverage.

Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) makes a campaign visit to the Narrow Way Cafe and Shop in Detroit, Michigan, U.S., July 29, 2019.

Asked to choose between building on the ACA and replacing it with a national Medicare for All plan, 55% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents said they would expand the existing law. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., now one of the two leading black candidates in the contest, speaks during a candidates forum at the 110th NAACP National Convention in Detroit.